Chicago deep-dish is very much an American take on the Italian favorite. Many people know pizza as a dish that uses a single, thin layer of bread covered with sauce (often tomato) and various toppings like cheese, basil, whole slices of tomatoes, and meat.
With Chicago stuffed pizza, though, there is so much more. For one, it uses a deep-dish pan that allows the baker to pile on more of everything—dough, toppings, cheese, what have you! Some pizza purists claim it’s not a pizza, but a quiche, since it has a crust on the bottom and sides. We will leave that discussion on the table; for now, here are the elements to the perfect Chicago-style pizza.
1. Get A Thick, Deep-Dish, Steel Pan In A Dark Color
You need to bake deep-dish pizza longer than ‘flat’ types. If regular pizza takes only ten to 15 minutes in the oven, deep-dish would require about 30 to 45 minutes. The wait is worth it, though, and if you do not have a deep-dish pan, you can use a cake tin. If you’re planning on making this kind of pizza more than once, though, invest in a specialized pan.
Get one made of steel, and in a darker color. Dark pans absorb more heat, which helps the pie cook faster. A thick pan is also sturdier and evenly heats the pizza. When shopping for a pan, make sure you don’t get one that’s too thick. Excessively thick pans might take longer to heat up and cool down. Look at the gauge number—the higher it is, the thinner the pan. For deep-dish pizza, use a pan with a 14 or 18 gauge.
2. Make Sure The Crust Is As Crisp As Possible
Chicago stuffed pizza needs a crispy crust, which is challenging since it also holds a lot of sauce and toppings. The moisture from the tomato sauce tends to seep into the crust, making it soggy. One thing that could help you start is getting the right kind of pan.
Like we said in the first item, it’s good to use a moderately-thick pan so you can retain the right amount of heat. Also, you have to place cheese on the bottom. Doing this prevents the moisture from seeping into the dough and creates the crispness you need for the base.
3. Mix A Healthy Amount Of Fat Into The Dough
‘Regular’ pizza uses bread dough comprised of flour, water, yeast, and salt. This type of dough could include olive oil, but just a small amount of it. Most Chicago deep-dish pizza doughs have much more fat than their flat counterparts. Some variants even use butter crusts, which contains a substantial amount of fat. Pizza makers do this because fat helps in creating the crust structure and crisp up the dough.
4. Put More Cheese Than You Think You Need
You cannot have too much cheese in deep-dish pizza, though you could say the same for the regular variant! But while this is a culinary choice for flat pizza makers, you need the copious amounts of cheese to balance the pizza flavor in a deep-dish pizza. Since there will be a lot of tomato sauce, cheese’s mild creaminess will balance it out.
Deep-dish pizza is part of the American culinary scene, and it persists because it is so popular. If you’re trying to make this dish at home, remember our tips in this article. Or, you could save yourself the time and effort by ordering a deep-dish pizza instead!
Get the best pizza in Indiana at Doreen’s Pizzeria. We are in Dyer, IN, and we offer Chicago-style stuffed crust pizza in a range of sizes and flavors. Call us today for more information!